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MetaVR Visuals in F-16 Simulation

MetaVR™ Virtual Reality Scene Generator™ (VRSG™) is used in F-16 simulators at multiple U.S. Air Force, Air Force Reserves, and Air National Guard training facilities in the U.S. and abroad. This webpage summarizes the use of VRSG at five F-16 training facilities: Luke Air Force Base, Vermont Air National Guard F-16 Mission Training Center, Aviano Air Base, Italy, and the Automatic Collision Avoidance Technology (ACAT) Fighter Risk Reduction Program (FRRP) program.

Real-time VRSG rendering of an F-16D entity in flight over MetaVR’s virtual terrain of the Ukraine.
Real-time MetaVR VRSG rendering an F-16D entity in flight over MetaVRís virtual terrain of the Ukraine.
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F-16 network training center at Luke Air Force Base

Luke Air Force Base (AFB) in Glendale, AZ, uses 53 MetaVR VRSG licenses in their F-16 full-mission training simulators. MetaVR's software is fielded on Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS)-based PC image-generators (PC-IG) using the latest game-level 3D graphics cards. These VRSG licenses replaced the Presagis Lyra-based solutions in four training dome systems for the U.S. Air Force Air Education and Training Command (AETC) which were installed at the site in 2007 and 2008.

Luke AFB is a major training base of the AETC for providing advanced flight training to fighter pilots. The upgraded F-16 flight cockpit simulators are located at the base's Network Training Center (NTC) facility. MetaVR visuals are used in four dome-based systems; each contains a full cockpit replica of an actual F-16. For each F-16 cockpit trainer, the VRSG multichannel visual system includes 10 out-the-window (OTW) channels and 2 sensor channels.

Real-time VRSG rendering of airfield structures on MetaVR's virtual Luke AFB. Detail of the dome display of an F-16 X-DTT simulator at AFRL using MetaVR multi-channel visual systems.
MetaVR's virtual terrain of Luke AFB.
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As part of the delivery, MetaVR built and delivered high-fidelity geospecific 3D terrain of Luke AFB, to include the airfield and the Barry M. Goldwater Range (BMGR). The terrain, built from natural color imagery, is in MetaVR's round-earth Metadesic format from natural color imagery. Imagery of the area of Arizona around Luke AFB is 1-meter per-pixel (mpp) resolution, BMGR is 0.50 mpp and the Luke airfield with its immediate on-base surroundings is .30 mpp resolution.

VT Air National Guard F-16 Mission Training Center

The Vermont Air National Guard (ANG) uses over 90 MetaVR VRSG licenses in their four-ship simulators at the F-16 Mission Training Center (MTC) located at the VT Air National Guard (ANG) facilities at the Burlington International Airport, Burlington, VT.

The F-16 MTC's mission is to train F-16 fighter pilots from across the U.S. in a first-of-its-kind graduate-level setting. Ten pilots can be trained at a time in exercises conducted on a local network or in Distributed Mission Operations (DMO) collaboration with the Iowa Air National Guard's Distributed Training Operations Center (DTOC) in Des Moines, IA.

One of the 4 cockpit simulators at the new F-16 MTC, located at the ANG base at the Burlington International Airport, Burlington, VT. The multi-channel synchronized view, driven by VRSG, is rendering the VT virtual terrain built by MetaVR. Photo courtesy of SSgt. Dan DiPietro, 158 FW, Vermont Air National Guard.
View from the cockpit of one of the F-16 simulators at the F-16 MTC, Burlington VT, using MetaVR multi-channel visual systems.

Inside the wraparound display sits a high-fidelity cockpit with functional buttons, switches, and multi-function displays (MFDs). The MFDs can display targeting pod video in electro-optic (EO), infrared (IR), or ground-mapping radar. An instructor/operator station (IOS) exists for each cockpit. The IOS establishes the environment in which the simulator will fly, to include geographic location, weather, and time-of-day. The IOS also controls the threat environment using the AFRL XCITE target generator. The IOS includes a large flat-screen TV that can simultaneously display a replica of out-the-window scene, heads-up display, and both multi-function displays.

MetaVR built and delivered to the Vermont Air National Guard 3D terrain of the ANG base facilities and airfield at the Burlington International Airport, Burlington, VT.

F-16 X-DTT simulators at Aviano AFB, Italy

The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Warfighter Readiness Research Division, uses 26 VRSG licenses in its F-16 Experimental Deployable Tactics Trainer (X-DTT) simulators. During an update, the VRSG licenses replaced AFRL’s SDS International AAcuity PC-IG systems for the simulators and were installed on the existing image generator hardware; no changes were required.

The F-16 X-DTTs are deployable, medium fidelity, in-theater training systems for keeping the warfighter proficient between missions. Each F-16 X-DTT has six projected views on a partial dome in addition to a sensor view. Each system can be used as a standalone training tool or networked with other simulators to participate in larger exercises.

Detail of the dome display of one of the F-16 X-DTT simulators at AFRL using MetaVR multi-channel visual systems. (Note that the seams that appear in this test installation of the dome will be eliminated in the final installation.) Image courtesy of Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), Mesa, AZ. Detail of the dome display of an F-16 X-DTT simulator at AFRL using MetaVR multi-channel visual systems.
Detail of the dome display of one of the F-16 X-DTT simulators at AFRL using MetaVR multi-channel visual systems.
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The goal of the X-DTT simulators is to provide pilots with the ability to practice and maintain air combat skills in forward operating locations. These simulators are intended for use by deployed pilots who generally perform missions in support of real-world operations with limited or no sorties or flying range space available for training opportunities and who might incur deficiencies in critical mission skills needed for other theaters.

The medium-fidelity X-DTT simulator consists of an F-16 Block 30 aircraft shell with the actual F-16 Operational Flight Program (OFP) and high-fidelity aircraft stick and throttle. These simulators provide the essential F-16 cockpit switches on a touch-screen LCD in front of the pilot.

F-16 simulators used in ACAT/FRRP

Using MetaVR visuals, ZedaSoft, Inc. built delivered a dual-dome reconfigurable F-16 simulator system to Lockheed Martin Advanced Development Programs (ADP) group in support of ACAT/FRRP. The ACAT Fighter Risk Reduction Project program, with a team that includes U.S Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, develops collision avoidance technologies for fighter/attack aircraft that would reduce the risk of ground and mid-air collisions. This phase tests automatic collision avoidance technologies between USAF fighter aircraft.

The dual-dome solution provides two F-16C Reconfigurable Cockpit Systems (RCS) in high- resolution large field-of-view display and projection systems. The 3.4 meter diameter dome leverages existing technology as in the F-16 X-DTT partial dome simulators delivered to the Aviano Air Base in Italy, described above.


Image courtesy of ZedaSoft.

As part of the system MetaVR provided a 3D terrain database comprised of satellite terrain imagery for the entire continental United States (CONUS) at 1-meter per-pixel resolution with higher resolution insets for Nellis Air Force Base (AFB), Edwards AFB, and Fort Worth Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (NASJRB) areas.

MetaVR VRSG real-time simulation scenes of runway at virtual Ft. Worth NASJRB, and geospecific culture at the virtual Nellis Air Force Base.
MetaVR VRSG virtual airfield at Nellis Air Force Base. MetaVR VRSG close-up of some of the cultural features on virtual Nellis Air Force Base.
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